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Long way to go on RTE, shows national school report card

Only 3% of schools across rural India boast the facilities all schools are required to have under the RTE Act, and close to half the country's schools do not have the required pupil-teacher ratio. Charu Sudan Kasturi reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 14, 2011 23:11 IST
Charu Sudan Kasturi
Charu Sudan Kasturi
Hindustan Times

Indian schools have a long way to go before they meet conditions required under the landmark Right to Education Act, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2010 released today by NGO Pratham said. This was the first time that the RTE Act -- implemented from April 1, 2010 -- was factored into the survey.

Rated on seven infrastructure parameters they are required to meet under the RTE Act, only 3% schools were found satisfactory on all. The parameters included buildings including classrooms and a boundary wall, drinking water, toilets, girls' toilets, teaching and learning material, libraries and the availability of mid-day meals.

The good news however is that infrastructure does not directly appear to have much of an impact on the learning in schools. Students in schools varying in standards of compliance with RTE Act infrastructure norms were found to have largely uniform levels of reading ability and mathematical skills.

Both reading and maths skills dropped sharply with increase in another parameter – pupil to teacher ratio.

Only 53% of all schools surveyed across India were found compliant with the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR). Apart from union territories like Puducherry and Daman and Diu, Kerala has the highest fraction (93%) of schools meeting the PTR norms while Uttarakhand (18.8%) is at the bottom of the pile.

First Published: Jan 14, 2011 23:09 IST